U regents to see if Sviggum’s new job is conflict 18 Jan 12

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The University of Minnesota Board of Regents plans to review whether Regent Steve Sviggum’s new job with the Senate Republican caucus poses a conflict of interest.

Regents Chair Linda Cohen announced the review Tuesday, the day Sviggum started his new job.

In a statement, Cohen says the board will “carefully review the situation” under its ethics code and determine what steps are necessary “to take in the best interest of the board and the university.”

Sviggum is a former Minnesota House speaker from Kenyon. The Senate Republican caucus named him as its executive assistant and communications director.

Sviggum said he wasn’t aware of the board’s decision but that a conflict doesn’t exist because he’s not a decision maker in the Legislature. He also says he ran it by university officials.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)